Last Updated: Friday - 09/24/2010
Week of May 8, 2000
Sister named CWL spiritual advisor
By RAMON GONZALEZ
WCR Staff Writer
The archdiocesan Catholic Women's League has its first-ever female spiritual advisor.
She is Notre Dame Sister Mary Lou Cranston, an Edmonton theologian, professor and ethics consultant who describes herself as a high extrovert.
Archbishop Thomas Collins appointed Cranston to the position in April, following her nomination by the CWL.
Her appointment was announced at the CWL's 78th annual convention, a meeting she was unable to attend.
Cranston, a sister since 1965, replaces Father Paul Moret, spiritual advisor for the past five years. "Thank you for five wonderful years," Moret told convention in his farewell speech.
The CWL decided to go for a female spiritual advisor to alleviate the load of the priests and because "we are a women's organization," explained president Mary Lou Veeken. "I think it's an appropriate time to have a woman as an spiritual advisor."
Cranston agrees and that's why she decided to accept the position. "I think it's exciting that the CWL being a women's group has a woman spiritual advisor," she said in an interview.
"To me, it makes good sense. I think it's a good move forward because there are some of us women who can probably do the job just as well as a priest because we have the same kind of training."
Another factor that led Cranston to accept the appointment is her desire to serve. "I've been given a lot of gifts and since I'm not married or tied down I can respond where there are real needs," she said.
The holder of a doctorate in moral theology from the Pontifical Gregorian Institute in Rome, Cranston taught for many years at the Toronto School of Theology. She has been teaching moral theology at St. Joseph's University College since 1994.
She is also director of St. Joseph's Ethics Centre, ethics consultant for Caritas and St. Joseph's Auxiliary Hospital, and vice-president of the board of the provincial health ethics network.